40 Tips for Dog with Noise Anxiety

Is your dog afraid of fireworks?

The new year should be a party for everyone. For you, for your friends, for your family, the neighbors, but also for your dog. When your dog is afraid of fireworks, New Year's Eve will be very different than you have imagined. If your dog has anxiety you will be looking forward for this time to be over as soon as possible. Read, in this blog, many tips for your dog and fireworks and make sure you can make a big New Year's party together.

Fireworks anxiety

Fortunately, not every dog ​​is afraid of fireworks and some dogs do not care about it at all. This does not mean, however, that they do not find it exciting.  Some dogs have learned well to deal with the unexpected noises and flashes of light. Some dogs are naturally stable, which makes it easier for them to accept unexpected events. However, a dog that is not afraid of fireworks should not  be taken for granted. If your dog thinks it is something exciting and easily accepts it while being at home but outside the tension increases due to too much exposure you should avoid it. So always go around the fireworks with dogs and prevent the fear from developing in your dog.

How do I know if my dog ​​has noise anxiety?

To find out if your dog is afraid of fireworks and has developed anxiety, it is important to pay attention to your dog’s signals and to recognize them in time. By discovering how your dog deals with the fear of fireworks, you can also respond to it in a more appropriate way. You can read the most common stress signals below.

11 signals to recognize fireworks fear in your dog
  • Yawn
    Your dog will open the mouth involuntarily and make it squealing, yawning sounds.
  • Panting
    Your dog gets a heavier and faster breathing and will begin to pant to get rid of the tension.
  • Running away or fleeing
    Many dogs tend to flee when they fear something. The chances are that your dog will take every opportunity to walk away.
  • Do not want to eat or drink
    Your dog does not want his regular food and water. For tasty dog ​​snacks, he shows some interest but not as usual. This is a sign of loss of the appetite.
  • Do not want to go outside
    Your dog does not want to pass the doorway. Maybe he is tired but your dog does not even want to go into the garden anymore. As soon as the door opens, your dog will quickly turn around again.
  • Walking nervously back and forth
    Your dog can not find peace and walks nervously through the house all day long.
  • Frightened body language
    The body language of your dog can always tell you a lot about your dog state of mind. Signs of fear are tail between legs, lowered body, ears back, smooth forehead or not keeping an eye contact with you.
  • Moving the Tongue, Licking
    Your dog's tongue comes out of the mouth regularly. Your dog licks excessively the his lips and nose or perhaps you.
  • Increased alertness
    Your dog is more alert than usual due to the noise. All sounds, smells and visual stimulants are occurring and seem to come more than once. Your dog will start to wait for the next bang and stay alert at all time.
  • Shaking regularly
    Your dog shakes the whole body more often than usual. You clearly see that your dog is trying to shake off the fear.
  • Searching for a shelter
    Your dog tries to hide under the furniture or does not leave your side. Your dog tries to hide and seeks the necessary support from you.
Not every dog is the same

Not all tips and tools will affect your dog because not all dogs respond the same way. Just as with us, every anxious dog also has its own way of dealing with this fear. In general there are 3 known reactions to a stressful situation. You might know them; fight, freeze or flee. In most cases, a dog will want to flee with firework fear and then find a safe place to be able to find a shelter. For instance when your dog is on the lash walking through the place with fireworks, he is not allowed to follow his natural instinct and run away. In addition he will also experience the unpleasant burned smell. So you should not  force him into it. Offer a nice and safe shelter in the house, when he can run away whenever he needs to.

Is my dog afraid?

Finding out whether your dog is anxious or not can be difficult. Why? Because the fireworks are not an everyday event. They are almost exclusive to the New Year’s Eve. However there are other occasions that will give you an indication of the anxiety. An example is a heavy storm, a mixture of flashes of light and clunks. Observe your dog in this time. When you spot the above mentioned signals you can prepare better for the next NYE.

As soon as your dog goes into the ‘panic mode’, you will not  be able to come through to him. It can be compared to a very frightened child that will not  stop crying. If you have been in this position you know that it seems that the baby cannot hear you anymore when you are trying to comfort it. For this reason it is also important to start with training your  dog sooner and to slowly build up resistance to stress triggers. Relaxation is very important for your dog. When your dog can relax after an exciting or stressful situation, it becomes easier to process what has just happened. If  before and after the stressful moment you are doing something nice with your dog, you can ensure him that after the bad moment he can expect a good one. This way he can look forward to it and be more confident.

Prevention is better than cure

To prevent your dog from being afraid of fireworks, it is advisable to start practicing early. You can get your dog used to fireworks at a young age, but it is also important to start fireworks training early in the year. The first explosions take place early in the year. This moment you want to have happy time with your dog. So start earlier in the year and train every once in awhile. You do not want to expose your dog too much to fireworks. A good way is training in different situations. As it was said before, finding fireworks in the middle of the year is not always a possibility. Search for loud places such as a building under construction, a surrounding of a shooting range or a metro station.

The goal is to show your dog that you are the leader and he can trust you in every situation.  The idea behind this is that your dog will have to overcome his fears by just ‘going through’ and eventually notice that it will stop again. For most dogs, especially dogs with noise anxiety, the fear will only become confirmed and increased. Your dog will pay more attention to you in a relaxed situation and learn better. Make sure that your dog experiences no stress at the moment you want to practice and always starts at the lowest possible level. A good tool for this is a DVD or CD with fireworks sounds that you can use throughout the year.

40 tips for dogs with firework fear:
  • Start firework training immediately in the new year. If you have a pup, as soon as you start the socialization training.
  • In addition, gain more insight into the behavior of your dog and yourself and crate the cooperation between you.
  • Make sure you get to know your dog well in stressful situations in order to deal with this as good as possible.
  • List the tips from behavioral therapist to be fully prepared and deal with your dog's anxiety.
  • Start on time with the solutions you have discovered for your dog. The fireworks are often already fired from October, make sure you are ahead of this.
  • Train your dog with fireworks sound recordings.
  • Build up your dog's training slowly and start at the beginning. You can mimic the bang very well with popping balloons or tugging bells.
  • Do not force your dog and let your dog handle the fear in his own way.
  • Give your dog a quiet, dark and above all safe place in the house. Your dog must be able to get out of by himself when it gets too much.
  • If you can not get rid of the fear of fireworks, then do not hesitate and help your dog by trying tools for the anxiety.
  • Use a thundershirt for your dog . A thundershirt provides a light, sustained pressure on your dog's body. The pressure around the chest provides a soothing feeling and your dog will calm down more quickly.
  • Make use of a soothing collar for your dog . A calming collar for your dog ensures that your dog is positively reassured in stressful and anxious situations.
  • Place a humidifier for your dog at home. A humidifier consists of pheromones that reassure the dog in fear or stress.
  • Support your dog with the right calming tablets or other medication during the fireworks.
  • Do not use muscle relaxants. As a result, your dog can no longer physically respond to the anxiety, but it gets more mentally stressed.
  • Train 1 on 1 with your dog. In group training, the fear in your dog is insufficiently noticed so that you quickly cross the boundaries of your own dog and the fear can only worsen.
  • Report fireworks that are chipped outside off the set times. It is only allowed to light fireworks between 31 December 6pm and 1 January 2am.
  • Let your dog seek support from you. Your dog trusts you and wants to be with you in anxious situations. Allow this especially then. Ignoring your dog can only be counter-productive.
  • Ignore the fearful behavior of your dog(not the dog but the behavior). By giving attention to the fear, you can inadvertently confirm it more and the anxiety will increase. Therefore try to deal with the situation as calmly and as normal as possible.
  • Lead your dog with a nice big chew bone. By distracting your dog with a treat, attention is less focused on the source of fear. Your dog will also receive a positive experience as a gift.
  • Give your dog a thinking game or dog puzzle for distraction. To make him as busy as possible with the fireworks, it is good to make your dog think. Especially during the heavy moment around 0:00 am this is a nice distraction for your dog.
  • Be creative with distraction by yourself. It is very nice to make a surprise package for your dog. You can do this, for example, by filling a box with several small boxes or toilet rolls and hiding a lot of goodies everywhere. Your dog is so busy for a while with unpacking and is distracted from all the fireworks.
  • Close the curtains so that there are no flashes in the house. Keep the lights from the house as much as possible.
  • Close all windows and doors. By closing the windows, the hard noises and the scent will be affecting your dog less.
  • Turn the volume of the TV or radio a bit harder. As a result, the noises is somewhat more muted.
  • Let your dog out during quiet times and keep the walks short. Do not force your dog to be exposed to the fireworks for longer than necessary.
  • Find a quiet environment for a long walk with your dog. Your dog will be tired in the evening and react less violently to the fireworks.
  • Meet with friends, relatives or acquaintances whose dogs do not mind fireworks. Your dog can thus seek support from the other dog and build up more self-confidence.
  • Check the dog leash and collar well and prevent your dog from running away while you are walking him out.
  • Make sure the chip of your dog is well registered and your address details are correct. If your dog runs away and is found then the chance of a quick reunion is greater.
  • Let your dog carry an address tag on his collar. Do not forget to add your phone number. When your dog runs away, the finder can contact you directly.
  • Ask neighbors to not shoot fireworks in front of your house. When you explain how frightened your dog is, there will certainly be understanding of the situation.
  • Do not let your dog eat fireworks from the street and watch out that your dog will not fetch the fireworks that are being thrown away.
  • Book an overnight stay at a firework free park. Here you can celebrate New Year's Eve together in a quiet way.
  • Stay as calm as possible during the loud bangs. When your dog is very startled, it is better to remain calm and slowly move in a different direction. By walking fast again you confirm the flight behavior of your dog.
  • Do not leave your dog alone if your dog is very afraid of fireworks. Make sure there is always someone at home for the necessary support or find a good and trusted address where your dog can spend the evening. The own familiar environment is of course the most pleasant for your dog.
  • Beware of giving alcohol to your dog. Your dog will certainly be calmer here, but of course alcohol is not healthy for your dog!
  • Make use of homeopathic comforting products for your dog. These substances are not harmful and can just help your dog through the stressful moment.
  • Do your dog like to stay in a dog 's house? Then set it up with the door open and cover the bench with a cushion or a large blanket. Your dog can then choose to hide in the safe kennel or not.

Written by Tinki in Dog behavior


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